The final patch before The International 2018 is here! 7.19 is the patch on which TI 8 will be played. The patch before this, 7.18, was released right after the Dota 2 Supermajor. No DPC tournaments were played on patch 7.18.
But in the past four days, everyone got to see how overpowered certain heroes were when The Summit 9 unfolded. It was a practice tournament which Evil Geniuses won, but it was also a tool for IceFrog to gauge the meta. This is what the stats from Summit 9 threw at us:
Most contested heroes at The Summit 9 (taken from www.dotabuff.com)
These 12 heroes dominated the picks and bans in the 43 games that were played. The first 10 especially. They were contested in over 70% games, with Crystal Maiden contested in literally every game! And besides Drow Ranger and Templar Assassin, all the heroes have a win rate above 50%. Winter Wyvern, Weaver and Phoenix take the top three spots with win rate over 60%. Something had to be done to ensure TI 8 did not have a very similar story. And that something has been done in the form of patch 7.19. Let’s take a look at who the winners and losers of this patch are.
* Abaddon: Mist Coil mana cost reduced from 50/60/70/80 to 50
A major hindrance to playing support Abaddon is the fact that the hero needs a decent chunk of mana as he has two usable spells, but doesn’t always have it to be a babysitter in the lane. This buff to mist coil can make Abaddon a potential babysitter in lane by maxing out Mist Coil and healing the safe lane carry throughout the laning stage. As for his own HP, a couple of Enchanted Mangoes combined with Tangoes should do the trick. At level 5, the hero can have a heal of 200 for 50 mana, which is a great value. To get a better perspective, Omniknight has a heal of 230 for 115 mana and Dazzle has a heal of 120 for 110 mana at level 5 (level 3 of the skill). This can also benefit an aggressive offlane, relentlessly nuking the opposition with Mist Coil.
2) Outworld Devourer
* Outworld Devourer: Sanity’s Eclipse damage multiplier increased from 8/9/10 to 9/10/11
* Outworld Devourer: Essence Aura mana bonus increased from 125/200/275/350 to 150/250/350/450
OD has hands down received the biggest buff of 7.19. When the difference in Intelligence is 100 (I’m being modest here), that’s straight up increased 100 damage. In long drawn fights, that difference is bound to be around 200 to 250, which just adds up to the damage. With the +2 Sanity’s Eclipse talent at level 20, the multiplier goes up to 13! That has the potential to do 2500-3000 AoE damage. Probably should be renamed Insanity’s Eclipse.
The mana bonus has an increase of 100 mana at level 4. And that’s not just for OD, that is for his allies as well! Imagine a hero like Bristleback playing alongside OD, spamming Quill Spray and Nasal Goo and just never getting out of mana! That is the dream. I personally believe we will see a lot of Ourworld Devourer at TI 8.
* Puck: Waning Rift silence duration increased from 1.5/2/2.5/3 to 2/2.5/3/3.5
Puck is a hero that is hardly seen these days. But this might bring him back, maybe as a support? Support Pucks have popped up before and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen more often while maxing out Waning Rift. The good thing about the buff is every level is buffed. A 280 damage AoE nuke at level 7 that silences for 3.5 seconds – not bad, right?
* Timbersaw: Reactive Armor armor per stack increased from 1/1.2/1.4/1.6 to 1.3/1.4/1.5/1.6
This buff increases the maximum armor bonus from 5/12/21/32 to 6.5/14/22.5/32. The important values are the ones at level 1 and 2 of the skill. The small additional increase in armor provides damage mitigation necessary to survive in the offlane or dive the tower to get that kill on the opposition safe laner. 1.5 increased armor is 9% EHP and 2 armor is 12% EHP.
* Bloodseeker: Level 25 Talent reduced from +20% Max Thirst and Damage to +18%
* Bloodseeker: Thirst bonus rescaled from 16/24/32/40 to 7/18/29/40
The nerf that will keep BS a bit more chained in the early game, a very necessary one at that, is the reduction in Thirst bonus damage. BS going mid can and leveling up faster than the side lanes can literally four shot an enemy support when under the effects of Thirst and Bloodrage. The curb in damage gained will prevent BS from snowballing like a mad man. The skill is pretty much the same at level 4.
* Broodmother: Spin Web movement speed reduced from 40/50/60/70% to 25/40/55/70%
* Broodmother: Spin Web charge replenish rate increased from 40 to 45 seconds
Like Bloodseeker, Broodmother’s early game has been hit. This nerf might make it necessary for Brood players to max out Spin Web first instead of spawn Spiderlings, but that will take a hit on the nuke potential. Remember, unlike Bloodseeker, Broodmother’s entire game depends on snowballing out of control. Her late game potency is a lot less than BS. Both heroes have been damaged in the early game, but Brood’s grave is certainly deeper.
3) Crystal Maiden
* Crystal Maiden: Crystal Nova mana cost increased from 100/120/140/160 to 130/140/150/160
To say Crystal Maiden came back with a bang is an understatement. From not being picked to being contested in every game is a major leap. The leap is primarily due to the increase in the Crystal Nova damage. The skill that was hardly ever taken in the laning stage before is now being maxed out (or two points are put into the skill at level 3) for the early game damage. The increase in mana cost will reduce the spamming of the skill. The number of Novas at level 1 just went down from three to two without having any Mango reinforcements. Should not take CM out of contention, but it will definitely stop her from being contested every game.
* Enchantress: Nature’s Attendants mana cost increased from 110/120/140/150 to 170/160/150/140
Enchantress is a pain to lane against. The Untouchable slow paired with Nature’s Attendants makes her one of the most frustrating heroes to try to kill. 7.19 starts off the skill at a very high mana cost and goes down as the skill is leveled up, exactly opposite to what it was earlier. Should take a toll on the lane sustain.
* Necrophos: Reaper’s Scythe Scepter cooldown increased from 55/40/25 to 60/50/40
* Necrophos: Ghost Shroud self magic resistance reduction increased from 30% to 40%
* Necrophos: Reaper’s Scythe cast point increased from 0.5 to 0.55
Necro is one of those heroes who was on the shelf getting buffs every patch. No one really utilized him. But once he was off the shelf, everyone realized how overpowered he was. The 25 second Scepter cooldown was absolutely disgusting. It made use of two, even three ultimates in a fight possible which meant more than half the team had 30 seconds added to their death timers. 40 seconds is a bit less ridiculous. The increase in magic resistance reduction makes Necro more susceptible to burst damage. Heroes like Lion and Lina will have a say in this change.
6) Phantom Lancer
* Phantom Lancer: Juxtapose Illusion incoming damage increased from 500% to 600%
* Phantom Lancer: Base intelligence reduced by 2
Not the biggest nerfs to Phantom Lancer. Destroying Illusions will be a bit easier now. This, however, will make a big difference when playing against Sven, Kunka, Magnus or any other hero with a Battlefury. The increased illusion damage has a chance of being splashed on the real hero in that case.
* Pudge: Meat Hook cooldown increased from 17/15/13/11 to 27/22/17/12
Pudge fights it out with Necro for the prize of the biggest nerf of 7.19. Meat Hook range was recently increased to 1300 for all levels and the Pudge picks in professional games have skyrocketed. The nerf is for the cooldown, so the range bonus still applies. It only means that if you miss a Hook, it will be a good half minute before you can do anything again. So the early game challenge now is to be more accurate on those Hooks! Again, not something that will deter teams from picking Pudge, but will bring him down a notch in the early game.
There are others who have been buffed or nerfed as well, but those changes are minor ones. The surprising thing is Ursa has not been touched at all and the nerfs to Phoneix and Zeus are minor ones. These heroes may just run rampant in Vancouver. Outworld Devourer can be added as a new participant to the TI list. If there’s anyone who should be worried about having their invitation rescinded, it is Necro and Pudge. With no tournaments till TI now, the only time we will actually find out how these changes have been perceived by the professional teams will be on the 15th of August, when the group stages of The International 2018 kick off!